VJW Junior A Defenseman Jake Schechter Commits to Northeastern
schecter_jake.jpgIt was a game that Jake Schechter (Naples, FL) will never forget.

Moments after completing a game with his Valley Jr Warriors team on January 5, Schechter was pulled aside by Northeastern assistant coach Jerry Keefe and received an offer he had been waiting for all his life.

“I saw him in the stands and noticed that he had stayed for the whole game,” said Schechter, who immediately verbally accepted the offer to play for Northeastern beginning with the 2013-14 season. “Once he made the offer, words can’t explain what I felt like. It was a moment that I had been dreaming about for so many years.”

Schechter’s journey to a Division I powerhouse is not exactly the road most traveled. Although he was born in Connecticut, his family relocated to Naples when he was just three years old. He spent his youth playing for the Florida Junior Everblades and trying to find as much competitive hockey as possible.

“Down in Florida it is all about baseball and football,” said Schechter. “Every weekend I was playing hockey in a different town across the state or traveling up North to play in a tournament. I didn’t have much time to socialize on the weekends, but my team was my main group of friends.”

 Following his freshman year at Barron Collier High School, Schechter made the difficult decision to take his game to New England and to Lawrence Academy. He capped off a sensational career by leading his team to a New England Prep School Championship during his senior season.

“Once you reach the age of 14, hockey opportunities begin to slow down so I knew that I had to make a move if I wanted to accomplish my goal of playing Division 1 hockey,” said Schechter. “By going up North, I knew that the talent would be much better and going to Prep school was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

Following his graduation from Lawrence Academy, Schechter played just a few weeks for Omaha (Nebraska) in the United State Hockey League (USHL) before deciding to return to the Boston area to play for Andy Heinze and the Valley Jr Warriors.

“Growing up and playing for the Everblades, I remembered playing against the Warriors and knew that they were a great program,” said Schechter. “I also head from some of my teammates at Lawrence that Andy was a great guy and a great coach. It just made sense to come back and play for a good program, a good coach and in a good location.”

The decision paid off in spades for Schechter who was able to put his skills on display for the New England area colleges, including Northeastern which had been in Schechter’s sights for as long as he could remember.

“He really made the most of the opportunity,” said Heinze, who had been in contact with the Northeastern coaches for months leading up to the offer. “They like him a lot and he should be able to jump right in and get some solid playing time. He is a good skater with the speed and quickness that will allow him to keep up and make an impact at the next level.”

Now that he has found a home next season, Schechter is ready to focus on the mission at hand which is to help his Warriors team win an EJHL Championship title.

“There is a huge sense of relief for sure,” said Schechter. “It builds my confidence to know where I am going to play next year. I don’t have to worry about who is in the stands, and I can focus on encouraging my teammates and helping them achieve their goals of playing at the college level.”

In 28 games this season, Schechter has registered 14 points and has consistently been one of Heinze’s star defensemen who is looked upon to produce on both ends of the ice.

“He has added depth and a high skill level to our defensive corps,” said Heinze. “He is a kid who can also work the power play and get up the ice and provide offense from the defensive position. He is also strong on the puck, can beat guys one-on-one and can close on guys defensively.”
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